My Crippling Fear of the Film “Signs”

By: Chelsea Pingston

I was 7 years old when I first saw the film, Signs. It’s basically a science fiction thriller about an alien invasion and how a family that lives on a farm deals with it. I’m really bad at summarizing plots so click here for a more in depth summary. Anyway, my oldest sister was babysitting me while our parents were at work or running errands during the film’s opening night in theaters. She decided to take me along with her friends to see the film and told me not to tell mom or dad. I had no idea what the film was about or why she wanted to keep it a secret from our parents. I was just excited for a night at the theater with my sister and her friends (mainly because she never included me with her friends because of our age gap). I remember my excitement of the drive to the theater and the pure euphoria I felt when my sister bought me a bag of popcorn and an icee (looking back on it, she was totally bribing me so that I wouldn’t tell our parents what we were doing). All of us gathered into the theater and chose the back row where the cool kids sat and soon enough the lights turned off and the film began. The film started with me happily munching on popcorn and the film ended with me on my sister’s lap and wrapped in her shirt. She was clearly frustrated with me because of how much the film terrified me.

Once we got home that night I slept in my parent’s bed with the scene of the black, faceless alien walking across the yard at the child’s birthday party replaying over and over in my head. Here’s the scene I’m referring to (I was literally shaking when I searched for this video clip for you guys).

I began to sleep with my parents every night for almost a week. They finally sat down and asked me why I was so scared until I told them the truth (with much dismay from my sister). They were mad at my sister for allowing me to see the movie and they were frustrated with me because my fear of aliens stuck with me for another two weeks until my mom did the coolest thing any mom could ever do. She finally sat me down and called the actor who played the alien in the movie and had him talk to me on the phone and explain to me that the alien was not real and that he was just an actor. He even went as far as to tell me that if aliens were real, that they were harmless. After that phone call felt so relieved. It was incredible. That night and every night after that, I slept peacefully in my own bed.

Years later my mom and I talked about what she had done for me. She admitted to me that I had not talked on the phone with the actor from Signs, but she had instead called our local theater and asked a young usher to convince me, her daughter, that he was the actor of the alien and asked him to help me not be afraid of the film anymore. I will never forget what my mom and the theater usher did for me. It had helped me overcome not only my fear of aliens, but also every horror movie I had watched from that day forward. It helped me realize that the monsters on screen were just actors and actresses, nothing more.


Recurring Dreams

By: Onaca Bennett


I’ve always had an incredibly active imagination. My mother tells me, although I can’t remember it myself, that I used to tell her stories about odd men that would come and take me away in the middle of the night. Oftentimes, when I do dream I dream so vividly that I wake up trying to remember if certain events actually happened in the real world, or if they were all just in my head. Honestly, I still sometimes wonder if I really couldn’t levitate on brooms as a child, because I’m occasionally sure that I can perfectly remember it. The dream I remember the most from childhood though, and definitely the one I’m most creeped out by, is a certain recurring one about aliens.

Once a year, around the same month, I would have this dream. It started out fairly normally, in the elementary school that I went to. It would be the end of a class day, and most of the kids had left, though one or another that I was close to that year would usually still be hanging around. Slowly, I would realize that something was wrong, and begin looking for my mother, who worked as a teacher there. Halfway to her, in front of the cafeteria, I would run into one of the teachers. She seemed to be talking oddly, in a stilted, buzzing sort of speech, until finally I would try to pass her and antennas would slowly rise from her head.

I’m not entirely sure what happened between that and the end of the dream, for all the times I had it, but I know that it usually involved a lot of running, battling, and a general alien invasion of the school. Every year, I would end up with the aliens captured, or retreating to their spaceship, telling me that they would return again the next year. And they did. Year, after year, after year.

Then, one year, the dream came, we battled, the aliens were defeated, and they looked at me and said…well, not what was always said. They told me they were done, and that they were never coming back. And the thing that really freaks me out about that, above all else? After that, I never had the dream again. Not even once.

I’ve had nightmares about haunted mansions, detached thumbs hanging from cave ceilings, murderers invading my house, and wedding massacres, but the fact that these gosh darned aliens came back every year, at the same time, and stopped coming after they said they would, just gets to me. I mean, I’m not gonna say that I secretly must have actually had aliens invading my mind every year, but isn’t it just a little creepy to you?